It shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that Halloween is one of the most dangerous days of the year for pedestrians. The combination of more people walking on or near the road after dark and people driving to and from parties with alcohol in their system is a deadly one.
Children are at particular risk on this holiday. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of being hit by a car quadruples for children on Halloween. When Halloween falls during the week, many parties are held the weekend before. However, some neighborhoods hold child-centered Halloween events on the weekend as well.
Parents can significantly improve their children's chances of staying safe (and their own) when they are trick-or-treating by taking some simple precautions:
- If you're not wearing something bright, put reflective material on all clothing and costumes as well as shoes.
- Carry flashlights, glow sticks or lighted sabers (if they fit with the costume) and extra batteries. Just don't shine flashlights at oncoming traffic. Point them toward the ground.
- Try to trick or treat in a group. The more people there are, the easier you are to spot.
- Stay on the sidewalk as much as possible. If you have to walk on the road, face traffic.
- When you cross the street, do so at marked intersections. Never walk out in the street between parked cars.
- Look carefully for vehicles pulling in or out of driveways when crossing in front of them.
- If you're chaperoning kids, remain attentive. This isn't the time to check your email, send texts, talk on the phone or listen to music.
When pedestrians -- particularly children -- are struck by reckless, careless and/or drunk drivers, the results can be catastrophic. If this has happened to you or a loved one, find out what your legal options are for holding the driver responsible for damages, regardless of what criminal charges they may be facing.